More than ‘just’ a garden…

BW Front Garden

Last Friday, the 15th July, was a special day in the lives of the staff, volunteers and residents at the Nursing home where I now live. 2 years of hard work from a committee, local businesses, National Citizens Service (16 yr olds who volunteer) and many others who I’ll never meet, had been leading up to this day…

The (Front) Garden Reopening

Most of my housemates and I made a special effort to dress up… wearing out the staff who assist us! The volunteers were kitted out in T-shirts bearing the name of the charity who has overall responsibility for the home, and extra staff volunteered. There were even distinguished guests: a mayor and mayoress (very lovely, kind-hearted people) and a representative of Her Majesty The Queen, a Lord Lieutenant (who to my surprise was a female) not surprisingly accompanied by a small entourage, and two local MP’s. Not forgetting the children’s choir from a local junior school, and a samba band! 

Unfortunately, the sunshine didn’t really appear until mid-afternoon. Just in time, thankfully, for the, re-scheduled speeches from most of the distinguished guests, the garden committee and the home’s manager.

I’d been unable to resist my natural role, that of a social butterfly, despite fearing the after affects. I swallowed my fear with a silent prayer and carefully maneuvered through the throng, introducing myself rather cheekily, as the youngest resident. This feigned confidence helped me to continue as I’d started despite tiring fast… Making enough of an impression to be mentioned in dispatches by one of the local MPs… He explained the difference the new space would make to someone like me with friends who live some distance away. Any visits need to be made the most of, to keep friendships strong and vibrant.

Silver plaque with engravings
The names of those who opened the garden or contributed in some way

Given the late appearance of Sumner, it’s been very hot with more than some humidity in the home. Whenever I could manage some time outside the home the new space really helped, especially since two good friends made seperate visits this week. We’d somewhere to go that I could eaisly navigate and chill out in while topping up our vitamin D and catching up on each other’s news.

Healthwise, this has been the best week since I don’t know when… no doubt due to the weather and great company. Not forgetting, of course other outings to a local church with my key worker, lunch out with a different member of staff and a lunch out with my parents. 

Of course, I’ve written this post while in the garden, but this time sat under the shelter of the gazebo, watching the weather turn sunny from light rain, and back to cool gray skies. I’ll leave you with some of my photos of the view. Until next time…

The explanation for my absence….!!

Dear lovely followers, (should I have any left?!) If you’re reading this now, thanks for sticking with me! As you might have noticed, I haven’t been writing much over the last week or two. There is more than one reason for this, but I can only go into a couple of those here. You might remember reading about my little accident a couple of weeks ago now. I thought then I hadn’t done any lasting damage, not even to my knee, but unfortunately, I have. How long it may last, I don’t know, but the healing process may take a while. Though I live in England and have the backup from the NHS, I’ve been having to fork out (pay up!) for physiotherapy, originally for chronic pain in my back. So bad, that had I not gone private, I would have had to start being hoisted, say, from my chair to my bed, within a few months to a year, because of the severity of the pain and the level of restriction the pain caused. Fortunately, it is making a difference, but because this meant I was already regularly seeing a very good physiotherapist, I knew that if between the physio and I we could work out what the problem with my knee was, she would give me as good advice as she could. I was getting to the stage with my knee where the pain in my knee would cause my leg to collapse underneath me. An absolute nightmare for anyone with any mobility problems, never mind how someone who has mobility as poor mine is. I am still attempting to transfer front on, with the help of my zimmerframe, rather than side on with a banana board as the strength, co-ordination, and control in my arms is far from adequate for this. For those of you who know about chronic pain and/or life altering physical disability, I am sure ou can well imagine how difficult tranferring had become. Aditionally, my leg collapsing would cause my knee to spasm, which would greatly increase the pain, which would mean putting even less weight on my leg than I could all ready…!! This meant I was willing to let the physio do whatever it took to work out why I was in pain and how to help it get better. What she did have to do may well may you wince, as she had to ‘create the pain’, i.e. get me to take two or three steps so she could see it collapse, and once I was sat. prod my leg to fine out where the pain was. Yes, it was a painful as it sounds!! It turns out, I have damaged a major nerve at the back of my knee, which wraps round the side of my knee. The whole thing is badly inflamed. Apparently the nerve at the back of the knee splits into two, there is the siatic nerve, and the other one, which I cannot remember the name of! Once this was diagnosed, my lovely physio-terrorist (sorry, therapist) was able to give me advice. Advice so good, it has already helped improve my knee by decreasing the number of times it collapses, reducing the resulting spasm and increased pain. Anyone with chronic pain, or severe disability or both, will tell you things often go in a vicious cycle especially with spasms or pain. Breaking that cycle can be heinously difficult, but once you do, it can make an enormous difference. P.S. For anyone who would like to read more about the causes and effects of pain, see Health Activist, Mrs. Rants excellent blog. ————————————————————————————————————————–

I wrote the majority of the above last Wednesday, but had no time to publish the post. I am finishing this in the early hours of Monday morning, a day and a bit after early 30th birthday celebrations. My lovely friend who organised the bash asked my Dad to say a few words. I admit to having moist eyes! I may write another post explaining a little of what my Dad said that night, but he also referred to my blogging skills when listing some of the things I am now filling my life with. Apparently, I am a “Master Blogger”!! I am well and truly back. For your amusement, I have included a photograph of me at my party, which the lovely Bryony took of me.

The photo shows me at my 30th Birthday party.
I am wearing a black sash which says “Birthday Princess”, and I have a large pink badge pinned to my jacket which says “I’m thirty, pour me another”, with a picture of a wine or cocktail glass on it! I have a big smile on my face. I didn’t realise until I saw this photo that I am sat underneath one of the ceiling lights, so it looks like I have a halo above my head!!